WRITING ASSIGNMENT # 2A: The Stamp Act Resolutions and Declaratory Act
After the British success in the French and Indian War, relations between the colonists and the mother country started to deteriorate. Britain’s attempt to tighten control over its colonial empire and to finance its administration by imposing new taxes aroused American resentment. Colonial opposition to British policies eventually led to armed resistance.
- Review the relevant sections in Chapter 6.
- Read the following documents:
If you are interested in reading the Resolutions transcript full transcript of the Declaratory Act, you will find them on the previous page.
As you read each document identify and be prepared to discuss the information that addresses the following points. Keep in mind that answering the following questions does not constitute an essay. This information must be incorporated into your essay.
Document 1 is an extract from the Resolutions that were passed by the Stamp Act Congress in 1765. Note, these are not the Virginia Resolves presented by Patrick Henry to the Virginia assembly, although reading and comparing the two may help you in your discussion. You are being asked to “Note the line of argument.”
- In order to do this, you must examine each statement separately and determine what the colonist are proposing/arguing.
- The next step is to identify how each statement that follows is related to the preceding statement. How are they being used to validate/argue for the view, opinion, or rationale being presented in each statement?
Document 2 is an excerpt from the Declaratory Act of 1766, passed by Parliament.
- Note the tone of the document. According to their statements, what is the relationship that exists between the crown and the colonies?
- What are they prepared to do to enforce that relationship?
PREPARE AND SUBMIT:
Write a well-organized essay, a minimum of 700 words (but not limited to), including supporting details from the documents/textbook/other sources in which you analyze and discuss the material that has been assigned by addressing the following questions:
- Discuss the main arguments that the colonists are presenting to Parliament, how they support those arguments, and how these resolutions reflect the attitudes toward local affairs developed during the preceding century.
- Discuss how Parliament refutes American claims, and how the Declaratory Act reflects the English view on the nature of empire, as opposed to the view held by most colonists.
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